Crush time

August 30, 2007 | By | Comments (4)

By Sara Schneider, Sunset wine editor

Sure, I’ll make some wine … Yikes! Words are easy; crushing and fermenting and racking are … somebody else’s job—but a pretty darn-near irresistible challenge. What does a wine editor do when she’s asked to put her money where her mouth is, so to speak? Find a book on home winemaking (words again, but they are the stock in trade around here).

The first one I hit on I highly recommend already: The Way to Make Wine: How to Craft Superb Table Wines at Home, by Sheridan Warrick (published by the UC Press just last year). Chapters 1 and 2 alone, full of specific detail on the equipment and kind of space you need, have practically launched this project. And as luck would have it, Dan Warrick used to be the executive editor of one of our sister magazines, Health (he’s a senior editor at VIA now), and—unbelievable coincidence here—he’s a great friend of my neighbors! A Saturday night dinner around their kitchen table, over a couple of bottles of his wine (good stuff, especially the dry Riesling), clinched his support. We’re going to have Dan on speed dial come late September.

And maybe a few other pros. I haven’t been able to stop myself, telling every winemaker I’ve crossed paths with in the last few weeks that I’m going to try my hand at it this year (calculated humble swagger there, just begging to be crushed). When I described the project to Tony Soter, who founded Etude winery in Carneros (very yummy Pinot Noirs) and has consulted on many, many top Napa Valley wines, the first thing he said was, “I’ll be your consulting winemaker!” Now that would be a coup. Unfortunately for us (fortunately for the wine-drinking world), Tony has moved to Oregon to start another winery, Soter Vineyards. Still, there’s speed dial …

Team_wineAnd lots of concrete details to take care of—find some grapes (before they’re ripe!), figure out where to make this stuff (where there’s lots of water available to keep everything clean, says Dan), and beg, borrow, and steal equipment. This isn’t a one-person job—the best Sunset talent has joined Team Wine (Team Chicken, what do you really need to do besides keep the little critters alive?): Erika Ehmsen, copy chief (with impressive winemaking connections; more later); Lauren Swezey, special projects editor in the garden department; Irene Edwards, executive editor; and Sara Jamison, style coordinator (this, above all, is going to be stylish wine).


  1. Jess

    Con lo que no aguardes ni un sólo segundo y consulta el catalogo Rossi que encontrases a continuación y elige los zapatos que pero te gustan.

    March 25, 2015 at 9:27 am
  2. smslån med betalningsanmärkning

    Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and
    I am inspired! Very helpful information specially the final
    phase 🙂 I deal with such information much. I was seeking this certain info for a long
    time. Thank you and good luck.

    October 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm
  3. zayiflama

    thanks you :))

    May 30, 2008 at 2:09 am
  4. Vernette Marsh

    UCD has a great enology and viticulture dept. which you probably already know. Dr. Andrew Waterhouse is Dept. chair. His e-mail is
    He really does enjoy wine consulting.

    September 13, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s